A personal loss our family has recently experienced was the death of our granddaughter Kaylie. She was a passenger in a vehicle going to her prom with her date and another couple. The teenager who was driving the car that shouldn't have been.
During the investigation it was found the car was going at least 112 mph on a two lane road. The car ran off the road and rolled at least 3 times ejecting Kaylie and her date from the back seat. She landed in the front yard of a house adjacent to the scene. Kaylie was flown to the Trauma Center at University of Cincinnati. She was on life support for 3 days and was determined to be brain dead, which means there is no blood flow to the brain.
The positive out of this is she was an organ and tissue donor, which saved the lives of over 100 other people. For them that was a blessing. For us, we know Kaylie lives on through others.
I have worked with KODA – KY Organ Donor Affiliates on so many occasions I can’t count or remember them all. But I know there are many others alive now thanks to the generosity of the families of the deceased.
Kaylie was due to graduate in a couple of weeks from high school and had been accepted in Ohio State to study Pre-Med. She wanted to be a doctor. She would have made a great one.
Bottom line is we, teens included, are not invincible. My intent is to use her death as a teaching opportunity to possibly save one teen; and to show them they are not immortal or invincible. Kaylie is still helping others in this.
On the other side here, how many of us, myself included, when we were teenagers KNEW we were invincible, indestructible and would live forever. Now that we are older and hopefully a little wiser, KNOW we are NOT; and on a lighter note, hurt in places we never thought we would!
I would like to speak of another loss I had many years ago. My son, Jonathan, who was premature was born and lived for 2 days. I still thank UK NICU for the excellent care they provided for him. I know the pain that parents feel. It is difficult for me to complete this page. This is an event you don't ever get over, you just learn to deal with it.
I am taking this opportunity to reference another group that is invaluable to parents that have lost a child. Compassionate Friends is a group made up of people who have lost children. I have included the link to their page. Lexington has a chapter. I used them after my son died. I always had a brochure in my van that I would give to parents.
I talk about these tragic events just to say "I know what you are going through, I am here to help".
The most difficult death notification any Coroner can make is to tell Parents their child is dead. It’s a very truthful, blunt and shocking event. I’ve had parents react in many different ways. From sitting in a chair in stone silence, to start screaming and lunge out of the chair at me saying you’re lying, how could you do this you #$%^*&&^^. My heart goes out to every one of those families.
I’ve called other family members, clergy or friends for them and even stayed with them until someone else arrived so they would not be alone. I've explained to them what was going on and what was required from that point and answered most all of their questions.There are questions I nor any Coroner cannot answer.
Even today after 48 years in public service, I serve a community as a Paramedic with a 911 EMS Service, I have calls where I go in and find the person has died. I had one very recently and watched the face of the family member in the home as I walked out of the room to tell them their spouse was dead and there wasn’t anything I could do for them. I asked if there was any family or a minister I could call for them as not to leave them alone after my crew and the Coroner has left. Yes, I have a very hard time with this, I am human.
Time is now for a new Coroner. One with real compassion and knows what it’s like. I really hope if I can help prevent the death of ONE CHILD; all of this it worth it.
I ask for your support and vote on November 6th. My office is toward the end of the ballot. Please take the time to vote there too. Thank you.
The only photo I will comment on is the Rainbow. When we were at Kaylie's visitation it rained. Upon leaving the church we saw this rainbow and remembered how God showed the rainbow to Noah after the flood. To all of us, this is a flood of grief, loss and why. We see it as God telling us, I've got this, I'm with you through this flood and all others.
Elect Larry Owens
Fayette County Coroner
Copyright ©2018 Paid for by Larry Owens for Fayette County Coroner. All Rights Reserved.